After watch Michael Moore’s new documentary about the delapidated US healthcare system Lauren Turner, a Health Account Planner at Google, wrote on the Google corporate blog that the movie was one sided. I don’t doubt that it was. I also don’t doubt that facts are presented and the viewer is free to do with those facts what they may. In Lauren Turner’s case it turned out to be hawking advertising for Google: “Whether the healthcare industry wants to rebut charges in Mr. Moore’s movie, or whether Mr. Moore wants to challenge the healthcare industry, advertising is a very democratic and effective way to participate in a public dialogue,” she wrote.

I beg to differ. If anything of what we were taught in civics classes is true, then paid advertising is probably the worst, most unbalanced way to enter into a public dialogue. It limits access to dialogue to those with large purses. It completely shuts out the great majority of involved parties, the one’s that actually NEED to be heard, but have no access to the forum. There is nothing more traditionally un-American and un-democratic than stiffling the voices of many for the sake of a priveledged few. Then again, given the current state of affairs, there is nothing more modernly American and democratic (US-style) than having a public discourse about public matters, paid for with private money.

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